In recent years, YouTube has suffered more than its fair share of stories of abuse. However, until now, most of the cases involved male influencers manipulating and abusing women. But for possibly the first time, a prominent male YouTuber has come forward to share his experiences at the hands of domestic abuse.
Canadian YouTuber Matthew Santoro accidentally published a 14-minute vlog on Sunday which, after an outpouring of support from his audience, he has since re-released in the hope it can help those in a similar situation. In the emotionally-charged video, Matt reveals in full detail the story of the physical and mental abuse he received in his most recent relationship, recounting incidents of domestic violence and manipulation.
Matt makes a point of explaining that he has had a lot of difficulty opening up about his abusive experience, because it is considered “embarrassing”.
“It’s something that men never talk about, because we’re made to believe that we’re supposed to be strong,” he admits, breaking down. “It’s sad that we live in a society where people have to feel like they’re supposed to keep quiet about these things”.
“Abuse knows no gender“.
Other members of the YouTube community have spoken in support of Matt, offering words of encouragement and sharing his video with their own audiences in the hope of helping others in a similar situation.
Matt doesn’t name any names in the video, instead using terms like “this individual” to describe his abuser; but based on previous evidence and accounts, as well as the timeframe in which he recounts the events of his relationship, all signs point to the “individual” being his ex-girlfriend, antagonistic self-described “comedian” Nicole Arbour.
Many of Matt’s audience have also picked up on this; though Arbour has yet to respond directly to any accusations, choosing as usual to resort to inane trivialising subtweets.
Regardless of blame or speculation, we at Unicorns hope that Matt’s video encourages people of all genders to speak up if they are facing any form of abuse from a partner, family member or any other person.
At this link is a list of helplines for several countries, should anyone need it for any reason.